Does the sex of the instructor matter?


Well-Known Member
Oddly enough, I've never had private lessons in Salsa. And that's what I've danced the most.
I think gender of the instructor is not so important as long as they are teaching what you are looking for right now. At the beginning, basic timing and lead and follow is most important. Down the road, styling and more advanced timing. Technique is not so different from rhythm and/or latin.


Well-Known Member
I think this thread must not be specific for a certain style. I had privates with a female teacher in salsa and in tango. The only thing I can say is: different channels are covered. You learn by watching a male teacher but you learn by feeling from a female teacher. (My swing teachers were male exclusively, dont ask me why.)

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
I wouldn't classify either gender as being more feeling or explicit. I do not teach from feeling, as I am rather analytical in nature. Gender stereotypes are pretty easy to break.

But I would say that if you take from a same sex teacher, you will learn how they think and feel and what goes on in their mind, what they INTEND, when they do a pattern.

When you take from an opposite sex teacher you will learn what they EXPECT to feel from a partner during the pattern.

The two thought processes are very different.


Well-Known Member
I have taken instruction from both male and female instructors. I would say gender isn't as important as evaluating what you want to get from an instructor and making sure that your needs match what the instructor can provide.
For example, when co-teaching a group beginner class if we switch roles because my female co-instructor wants to illustrate something particular from a leader's point of view using me a follower confuses the class. Here, using a female student is perhaps more effective. So, the short answer is: IT DEPENDS.

Vince A

Active Member
I have had male instructors that worked on my 'leads' and who got me thru my initial learning stages. I have had female instructors that also worked on my leads and what not to 'give' followers (I also follow) - I competed with several of those females! I've also had gay instructors who were damn wonderful dancers, as well, as instructors. All were very good at what they did, and all were the most wonderful dancers! It's not about gender of the person - it's about me liking them as an instructor, and if they could get my body to do what they were instructing me to do! Bottomline - can they teach me to dance!


Well-Known Member
From an education standpoint, you haven't come across a good teacher unless you've seen a male teacher that can do the lady's part better than all the ladies around, and vice versa. Yes, gender matters if that's the only attention you can manage to get from the opposite gender. However, if what you are looking for is to learn to dance, then what the teacher knows and can teach you is what matters. And that depends on the individual teacher.


Site Moderator
Staff member
Of course the sex of the instructor matters. Do you think all those cougars who come to learn how to dance would be enrolling nearly as often if they were dancing with other women? Especially if those women are significantly younger and more attractive? Yeah the sex matters. Unless you're a homosexual try dancing with someone of the same sex for a month and see if you continue taking lessons. (yes men do come to the studio to take lessons with one of our gay instuctors). If we're talking strictly from an educational standpoint then you really need both because they each offer a different perspective on techniques unique to each sex.
try really hard to grasp the concept that we try not to say deliberately inflammatory things around here, because I am getting tired of mentioning it....
Does anyone have a preference regarding the gender of the instructor for a female student? I've had two male instructors and have always thought I'd benefit more from a female because she could incorporate styling techniques as well.

In addition, does anyone know of a really good female instructor in NY? I have two in mind, but would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks in advance! :wink:
What works for me is (female) is to have a male instructor for most lessons so that I have a better 'follow' response. Love my female instructor for styling and response techniques.
Learn ladies styling subtle follow and intricate footwork from a woman
Learn Lead and general follow from a man
Exceptions to the rules apply when the instructor has had extensive training in the opposite sex.
I (leader) only had female teachers. With a male I would always be in competition and thus unbalanced.
Yeah. I feel the same way a lot of times. I can listen to some of the older guys who have been dancing for decades, and really know what they are talking about though.
If I'm a follow it doesn't matter of what gender is my instructor - he/she should be a great leader.

The best private tango lessons I had were with Jenny Gil and Frank Obregon (wonderful people besides being tango champions - they NEVER brag about that). When you dance with Frank, Jenny is watching and afterwards both of them give you feedback. That's the best way of learning to my view.
So happy they are back to Stockholm for a few workshops.
Well, that's really 'a question'. I'm not sure the sex of instructor affects your learning except you got a feeling of... Somebody said, even not in dancing, that he or she feel easier or more effective in learning with the different sex instructor or teacher. It's likely caused by a phenomenon "pleasant psychology" between two different straight sex people. :)

By the rule 'man lead & woman follow', I think male has a bit of advantage than female when student is female. However, it's relatively because the instructor must have a qualification enough for training.

The most important is methodology, in my opinion. The instructor knows how to express a difficult thing as easier language, or in another way, he/she put him/herself in the shoes of learner to know what difficulty the learner has to face and guides him/her to overcome that etc...

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